A group of around 30 people gathered today outside the BBC Nottingham building on London Road to show their disdain at the BBC for allowing Nick Griffin, MEP and leader of the British National Party to appear on Question Time. Flagged by a couple of police and with placards waving around in the October weather, Impact had a chat with one particularly vocal protestor- Julie Webster, 36, of Hucknall spoke to James Sanderson about why they had to take action today. Soon after, protestors managed to break into BBC Television Centre in London.
What are you hoping to achieve with your protest here today?
It’s to show people that we are against the decision made by the BBC to allow Nick Griffin onto Question Time. It is important to do this so you aren’t just sitting in your armchair shouting at the television tonight instead of making a stand. It’s also to show the people of Nottingham also so they can feel heartened by the protest. Most people have been supportive today and honked their horns to show their solidarity to the cause. You get the odd BNP sympathiser shouting, but they are in the minority.
Are you going to be watching tonight?
I think I will be forced to…It will be a victory if we manage to stop him from appearing on Question Time or prevent the broadcast. I will unfortunately have to watch it when I get home.
Do you condone the security breach at BBC Television Centre earlier today?
Yes, we have an organisation that until last week, when The Equality and Human Rights Commission forced them to reconsider, had a policy of preventing non-whites from being elected. To me, that is a form of violence, perpetuation of the belief that Black people are inferior to White people. The appearance of Nick Griffin on Question time will give these views legitimacy.
What about freedom of speech? Is preventing Nick Griffin from appearing on Question Time denying him a platform of which he is entitled to?
I believe in freedom of speech for everyone except Nazis, I don’t believe we should give freedom of speech to an organisation that will happily use democracy when it suits them in order to go and smash it. If you look for example, many members of the BNP are members of the British Defence League, which regularly protests against Muslims, the building of new mosques, indulges in Nazi salutes and shouts cursory abuse at Black and Asian people in the road. That is a form of violence.
Who would you suggest the disillusioned parts of the electorate vote for instead, given that the BNP has the strongest policy on the E.U?
There are people here on the protest today from diverse political backgrounds, If I could say just one thing It would be just don’t vote Nazi. The BNP has definitely seen a rise in support, but I won’t comment on whom I think those disillusioned voters should support. Just don’t vote BNP.
An analysis of Nick Griffin’s Appearance on Question Time will be available tomorrow on the Impact website.